Young Wallabies playmaker Noah Lolesio has been urged to shed his “nice guy” image and increase his assertiveness as he works to nail that crucial No.10 role.
Defenders coach Scott Wisemantel says the 22-year-old was “solid” in Australia’s 25-17 win over South Africa last weekend but wants him to take charge when the sides meet again in Sydney on Saturday night.
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Lolesio was dropped again for the Wallabies’ two Tests in Argentina and replaced by Quade Cooper and James O’Connor, and Wisemantel even said the experience should spark a reaction within Lolesio.
“One thing we really want from Noah is to be a little bit more aggressive because he’s such a nice guy,” he told reporters.
“As a coach…I want him to be dirty if he’s not picked. I want him to come to me and say, ‘Why, how are we doing this and what are you going to do for me?’ because that’s my job.
“It’s not rude, but in that role as a player who touches the ball more often than most players on the team, he has to have that authority and that command and to do that you actually have to practice it on a daily basis.
“‘I need you here. I want you here. If you don’t show up, there will be consequences … it’s aggressive language, and off the field, Noah is none of that.
The 12-cap wallaby is the five-eighths of the future to have had such experience at his young age and has certainly performed well in each of his team’s three tries last time out against the Springboks.
Wisemantel saw moments in the performance that encouraged him that Lolesio could foot the bill as team leader.
“He was solid, he did his job (but) there are areas we can still address there,” he said.
“The most impressive thing for me was when we scored that first try with (Fraser) McReight. If you go back two stages earlier and look at where Noah is, he’s connected to the Forwards.
“But the authority he had to tell him what he wanted, how we wanted it and organized it, that was the most impressive part of his game to me.
“Whether you’re right or wrong, if you demand things, command things, guys will show up for you.”
https://7news.com.au/sport/rugby-union/wallabies-want-nice-guy-noah-to-get-tough-i-want-him-to-be-filthy-c-8070245 Wallabies want nice guy Noah Lolesio to get hard: ‘I want him to be dirty’